ExileMature

Thousands of leagues to the west, a King fled his Kingdom in grief.

 

He looked back; his emerald eyes shining with sadness. Last of the Great Kings, the final link between the Ancient Kingdom of Amür and the Old Gods; leaving Dul Elden, forever.

"Erik!". The sound of Jameson's voice swung the former monarch from his reverie of regret and dread. He turned as his friend of forty-six years brought his white stallion, Asfalath, up alongside Erik's ebony gelding.  A rare smile flashed across Jameson's youthful features; the only clue of his true age were the tired grey-blue eyes, which harboured the wisdom of millennia. "Don't despair old friend, I prophesised the revolution centuries ago. "He said, almost in a positive manner, "The people have turned wicked, greedy. They are no longer content to stay to the mountains and forests of Amür; they wish to rule all before them. And under the manipulation of Jadu, well..."

"Is this meant to comfort me James?" Erik cut in sarcastically. "Reminding me that it was under my rule, the blessed people turned from their faith. That it was now, after two and a half thousand years of peace and growth, Amür wants to go to war, to be the nation which you were sent to destroy!"

"I only meant", said the Drunaen defeatedly, removing the white crested silver helm, "That this is not your fault. We can build a new nation, and oppose Jadu with all the armies of the world."

"But will it be enough?" King Erik asked uncertainly. It was rhetorical, but as befitted his character, Jameson's chose to answer.

"That depends, on whether that old bastard of an emperor and his legions agree to join us. I fear the Laiku will be the deciding force in the coming war, the only thing is, he's an evil son of a bitch, but boy do we need him." Erik Nodded in agreement, but his heart was not in the conversation; one of hope. He found it impossible to rid his mind from the horrors he alone had witnessed the night of the rebellion, his stomach churned with fear and he had to forcefully push down panic when the realisation of certain defeat once again returned to him. He wanted to tell Jameson what he had seen, but to do so would be to admit its existence, and he was not strong enough for that, not yet.

"Erik" Jameson said softly, "Whatever it is, you can either tell me, or forget about it, because you can't change what you can't control, and right now, you need to focus more than ever before." The Amürian King shot his friend a suspicious glance but smiled, nevertheless, the way the Drunaen worded things always left Erik with the unsettling feeling that he knew just about everything.

"You know, with all your hopeful speeches and crude profanities, it’s easy to forget you're the last in a long line of ancient guardians with unintelligible knowledge and power, and probably the most dangerous individual that walks the earth", Commented Erik.

"Thank you" Jameson chuckled, and then a dark look fell across his fair face, "But believe me when I say that there are still powers older and more dangerous than I." He adopted a look of deep thought and whispered, "I fear the days when I must meet them in battle". Suddenly, Jameson jerked up his head and changed his tone, "Anyway, enough drama, I've seen more of it in the last month than in the past three hundred years! Look behind us Erik, a mighty host indeed! Three thousand of the most noble and resilient Amürian fighting men and their families!"Jameson gestured back across the plains, past the white crests and capes of the fifty mounted Royal Lancers and the Phalanx of 250 royal bodyguard, to the main host. Either side of the huge mass of women, children, elderly and sick, baggage trains and livestock, were the mighty men Amür. Tall, and fair of face, they flowed forward steadily across the lush rolling hills and pastures which defined the outskirts of the Kingdom. About the host was a kind of noble sadness that caused the scene before them to appear even more beautiful. The setting sun shone down upon the gleaming silver of the dismounted and mounted knights; the heavily armed elite of noblemen of which a large part of the force consisted of. Though with them were divisions of the famed Amürian longbow men, and companies of swordsmen and spearmen who marched, steadfast, under the sun's dying flames. Despite being only a token of Amür's strength, Erik knew that the men of this host were closest in faith and person to the men of Amür in the days of prosperity and youth, and as a force were so powerful that Jadu had ordered the King and all those with him to be given temporary safe passage through the realm, into exile. Contrary to what he’d imagined, the sight of a mighty and faithful host such as this, filled Erik with a tiny pocket of hope, one which he held on to during the gruelling days ahead.

 

 

The End

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